May 13, 2009

Pinpoint Aim: Bullets Drop Denison

from press releases

GETTYSBURG, Pa. - Junior Kyle McGrath (Randolph, N.J./Randolph) poured in four goals and two assists as No. 5 Gettysburg outscored No. 14 Denison University 7-2 to start the game en route to a 13-8 victory in the NCAA Division III quarterfinals Wednesday afternoon at Shirk Field at Musselman Stadium.

The win sends Gettysburg (15-3) to the NCAA semifinals for the eighth time and for the third year in a row. The Bullets will take on the winner of the quarterfinal between No. 1 Stevenson University and No. 2 Salisbury University this weekend at a time, location, and site to be announced.

Gettysburg also pushed its winning streak to 13 - one shy of the school record set in 2001 - and won its 15th straight home contest.

Junior Joe Brody (Bethesda, Md./Walter Johnson) scored three goals and handed out one assist for the Bullets, who scored nearly eight more goals than Denison - which entered the afternoon with the second-ranked defense in Division III (5.67 gpg) - had allowed per game this season. Sophomore Chris Cahill (Nashville, Tenn./Montgomery Bell Academy) tied a career-high with three goals while senior Zach Pucci (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) added one goal and two assists. Senior Danny Collura (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier) contributed a pair of assists.

Junior Brady Burton led Denison (14-3) with three goals while senior Nate Hall and sophomore Tanner Smith had one goal and two assists each.

It was the McGrath show in the early going, as the midfielder had a hand in five of the team's first eight tallies. His four goals and six points marked the second-highest scoring outputs of his career, ranking only behind his five-goal, seven-point performance in the team's season-opening win over Hampden-Sydney.

After senior Ted Gulyas scored off the opening face-off to put Denison up 1-0, the Bullets answered immediately, winning the ensuing draw before McGrath scored with 14:04 on the clock. Brody struck just over a minute later to give his team the lead for good before McGrath scored again to make it 3-1 just 3:15 into the game.

Hall pulled Denison to within one with 11:02 left in the opening quarter before the offenses cooled down momentarily. But the Bullets erupted again midway through the stanza, getting goals from junior Josh Reichert (Englewood, Colo./Kent School), sophomore Danno Lynch (Medfield, Mass./Avon Old Farms [Conn.]), and McGrath to assume a 7-2 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Gettysburg extended its run to 5-0 when McGrath potted another tally 1:14 into the second quarter. Burton scored with 11:55 showing to make it a 7-3 game, but the Bullets used a 3-0 spurt to break the game open. McGrath notched his final goal of the day with 10:10 on the clock before Cahill scored back-to-back goals 49 seconds apart as the Bullets lead ballooned to 10-3 at the half.

The Big Red cut into the deficit in the third quarter, when it outscored the Bullets 3-1. Emmett Jones got things started when he scored just over three minutes into the stanza before Cahill delivered Gettysburg's lone goal of the period - his second-straight man-up tally - at the 9:14 mark. Denison answered with man-up goals from senior Dan Maude and Burton to make it an 11-6 game heading into the final quarter.

Brody scored his second goal just 32 seconds into the period, and the score would remain 12-6 before Brody cashed in again, this time with 6:22 left. The Big Red scored twice in the final two minutes to set the final score.

Defensively, senior Zach Furshman (Miami, Fla./Kent School [Conn.]) made seven saves for the Bullets while sophomore John Odierna (Oyster Bay, N.Y./Cold Spring Harbor) had three caused turnovers and four ground balls. Freshman Gregg Shannon made five saves for Denison while junior Connor Detjen won 14-of-21 face-offs and scooped five ground balls.

The Big Red outshot the Bullets 17-4 in the fourth quarter to finish with a 40-31 advantage for the game. The Big Red also held a slight edge in ground balls (24-22).

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